Board Members

Susan Mann, President

B.A., Dip. Ed., GAICD.
Elected member.

Sue has worked in education in Victoria, nationally and internationally, as a secondary teacher, teacher educator, policy analyst and senior administrator for over 40 years. Over the last 20 years, she has developed extensive experience in managing not-for-profit companies owned by the Australian Ministers for Education, as Chief Operating Officer of the Learning Federation and Chief Executive Officer of Curriculum Corporation and its successor, Education Services Australia.

Christine Stewart, Vice President

B.A., Dip. Ed.
Represents Australian Education Union (Secondary).

Christine was a secondary teacher for over 20 years, including roles as Student Welfare Coordinator. Christine also held the role of deputy secretary at the AEU for 12 years and served as a director of VicSuper for over 10 years.

Barry Smith

B.A, Dip. Ed, GAICD.
Elected member.

Barry was President of the State Schools’ Relief Board for over 10 years, beginning September 2011. During this time, Barry oversaw the expansion of SSR’s service delivery from 12,231 applications for support in 2015 to more than 67,000 in the 2021/22 financial year.

Barry has been a passionate advocate of the Student’s Choice initiatives and has been instrumental in setting up the social enterprise arm of SSR, which now retails school uniforms to over 40 schools across Victoria.

He has also had a varied career as a teacher, teacher union official, adviser to Joan Kirner AC and a successful business owner.

Cheryle Osborne

PhD, MEPA, MEPI, B Ed Dip. Teach (Primary) Represents the Victorian Principals Association (VPA).

Cheryle has over 35 years’ experience in Victorian government schools and is currently Principal of Aspendale Gardens Primary School. Cheryle has been a member of the VPA for 23 years and a VPA Board Member for the past 13 years.

Colin Axup

B.A (Hons), Dip. Ed, Grad. Dip Strategic Studies.
Represents Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals (VASSP).

Colin began teaching at Melbourne High School in 1992.  Colin’s career has seen him appointed at several secondary schools in Victoria, most recently as principal of Suzanne Cory High School, the newest of Victoria’s select entry high schools.

In his time as principal, Colin has been most interested in the role of leadership in transforming schools. He believes that professional organisations play an important role in the work of a principal and he assumed the position of President of the Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals in March 2021, having been the Deputy President since 2018.

Gail McHardy

Represents Parents Victoria.

Gail has long been one of Victoria’s leading advocates for parents of students in Victorian government schools and is the CEO at Parents Victoria.

Gail has been an active parent participant at her own daughters’ schools, volunteering and working for the statewide peak body, Parents Victoria (PV). Gail has had many opportunities to share her extensive knowledge, professional commitment, experience and energy with many school communities, future teacher graduates and with other stakeholders across the public education sector.

Gail shares "PV has supported the work of State Schools' Relief since the 1930's, it's great to serve on their board in keeping with their philosophy, mission and values”.

Maria Shearn

M. Student Welfare, Grad Dip. Multicultural Education, Dip. Ed.
Represents Australian Education Union (Primary).

Maria has over 30 years’ experience in Victorian Government schools and is currently the Principal at East Bentleigh Primary School. Maria has been an AEU member for 30 years and a State Schools’ Relief Board member since 2013. Maria is passionate about inclusive education.

Martina Owen

Represents Business Managers Victoria.

Martina has worked as a business manager for Victorian government schools for the past 11 years, in both primary and secondary settings.  Martina is a member of the Committee of Management for Business Managers Victoria and is passionate about the progression of business managers and supporting their professional profile.

Through her involvement in Deakin University Advisory Board and Business Managers Victoria, together with many working years’ experience, participation in local school networks, and department stakeholder groups, Martina has a high level understanding of compliance, governance, operational process and financial management for Victorian government schools.

Sean Collier

Elected member.

Sean is a senior risk professional with 30+ years managing financial and non-financial risks.

Having worked as a senior manager for large financial services firms across Australia, Singapore and the Pacific, he has extensive experience in corporate governance, risk strategy, assurance, internal audit and regulatory compliance.  Sean currently works as a risk management and compliance consultant covering both the private and public sectors.

Wilma Culton

B. Ed, M. Ed.
Elected member.

Wilma is currently Principal of Serpell Primary School in Templestowe. She holds special interest in International Education, International Standards and Accreditation of Schools with a strong focus on development of students with a positive contribution as global citizens.